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University Archives & Manuscripts - Collection Guides
Norman Fedder Papers

Introduction and Content Note

In 1999, Dr. Norman Fedder retired as Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre after 29 years at Kansas State University. During that time Dr. Fedder established an international reputation as a playwright, scholar, and teacher. Dr. Fedder's specializations include play writing, creative drama, drama therapy, religion and theatre, Jewish theatre, drama in Jewish education, American ethnic theatre, staging of original plays, and dramatic literature, as well as numerous teaching emphases. In 2000, after assembling personal documents representing the important activities in his outstanding career, photocopying the collection, and placing it in looseleaf notebooks, Dr. Fedder donated the material to the University Archives. The donation also included several audio and video tapes of performances and teaching activities.

With the collection came a separate group of material that documents his original play, "Never Let 'em Catch You at It": An Evening with Milburn Stone. This play is about Stone and his role as "Doc Adams" on the television program, Gunsmoke. The one-man play was performed at Saint Mary of the Plains College, Dodge City, KS in 1989. Steve Stein of Dodge City portrayed Stone who died in 1980. It was again performed at Hutchinson (KS) Community College in 1995 with William Brewer portraying Stone.

Dr. Fedder's collection consists of the following 16 looseleaf notebooks: 1) summary of Contents, Curriculum Vitae, Honors; 2) Essays: Published and Unpublished; 3) Teaching; 4) Workshops Led; 5-16) Plays Written: Selected. There are 3 video tapes and 5 audio tapes. The collection of Milburn Stone material, consisting of original documents and photocopies, is preserved in one archival box. It is organized within the following groups: 1) General; 2) Research Materials; 3) Audio Tapes, and 4) Video Tapes.

Biographical Sketch


1988      William Stamey Outstanding Teacher Award
1989      Registered Drama Therapist
1990      Kansas Theatre Hall of Fame
1994      Board Certified Trainer, National Association for Drama Therapy


1934      Born
1955      Married, Deborah Pincus

1962        Jordan
1964        Tamar


1950-1952 Johns Hopkins University: Writing, Speech, and Drama
1953-1955 Brooklyn College, CUNY: Speech and Theatre - B.A. 1955
1955-1956 Columbia University: Dramatic Literature - M.A. 1956
1957-1960 New York University: Dramatic Literature - Ph.D. 1962

M.A. thesis: "Ibsenism in Arthur Miller"
Ph.D. dissertation: "The Influence of D.H. Lawrence on Tennessee Williams"


1956-1959 NYC Secondary Schools: Substitute Teacher, English
1957-1958 Baruch College, CUNY: Lecturer, English
1957-1958 Long Island University: Lecturer, English
1960-1961 Trenton State College: Assistant Professor of English
1961-1964 Indiana State College: Associate Professor of English
1964-1967 Florida Atlantic University: Associate Professor of English
1967-1970 University of Arizona: Associate Professor of Drama
1970-1980 Kansas State University: Associate Professor of Theatre
1980-1989 Kansas State University: Professor of Theatre
1989-1999 Kansas State University: Distinguished Professor of Theatre

Specializations: Playwriting, Creative Drama, Drama Therapy, Religion and Theatre, Jewish Theatre, 
Drama in Jewish Education, American Ethnic Theatre, Staging of Original Plays, Dramatic Literature. 

Courses Taught: Remedial English, English Composition, Advanced Exposition, Oral Communication, 
Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, English Renaissance Drama, Modern Drama, The Nature of
Drama, Studies in Dramatic Literature, Modern British Drama, Theory of Tragedy and Comedy, 
Beginning and Advanced Acting, Beginning and Advanced Directing, Beginning and Advanced Playwriting, 
Workshop in Playwriting, Modern European Theatre, Tennessee Williams, Oral Interpretation of Literature, 
Readers Theatre, Religion and Theatre, Jewish Theatre, Drama Therapy with Special Populations, Creative
Drama, Developmental Drama, Principles of Drama Therapy, American Ethnic Theatre, Greek and Roman Theatre, 
Medieval and Baroque Theatre. 

For a comprehensive Curriculum Vitae and lists of plays written, publications, professional activities, 
plays directed, and grants, awards, and honors: See Container List; Notebook No. 1

Container List


 01     Summary of Contents
        Curriculum Vitae

 02     Essays: Published and Unpublished

          1966 The Influence of D.H. Lawrence on Tennessee Williams, Mouton and Co.

          1976 "All the Nonsense about Rules for Playwriting," Kansas Speech Journal.

               "The Matter with Kansas: a Statewide Model of Dramatic Art in the Religious Community," 
                  Arts in Society.
          1977 "Tennessee Williams' Dramatic Technique" in Tennessee Williams: A Tribute, University Press 
               of Mississippi.

          1978 As Contributing Editor for Dramatics Magazine, wrote:  "Who's Afraid of Religious Theatre?"
               "The Torah and the Teenager," "Strange Pewfellows: Religion and Theatre," "Play in the Church of 
               Your Choice," "We All Can Do Amazing Things."

          1979 "American Jewish Theatre," Military Chaplains' Review - Religion and Arts Issue.

          1980 "Tennessee Williams' Dramatic Technique," reprinted in Tennessee Williams: Selected Critical Essays, 
               University Press of Mississippi.
               "Beyond Absurdity and Sociopolitics: The Religious Theatre Movement in the Seventies," 
                  Kansas Quarterly.

          1982 "Barrie Stavis: The Playwright as Prophet," Religion and Theatre.
          1984 "Theatre with a Moral Dimension: My life in Religious Theatre," presented at conference
                  on Drama in Education, Villach, Austria.

          1985 "Unstiffening Those Stiffnecked People," Modern Liturgy.

          1992 "Facing Sudden Success: Philip Roth's Zuckerman Unbound" and 25 analytical summaries of 
                  novels, stories, plays, and films on the subject of unexpected success. Published by the 
                  American Library Association as a chapter in a book of essays, entitled Life Guidance 
                  Through Literature.

                "Dramatizing the Torah: Plays about Moses," Theatre and Religion.

          1995 "Theatre in Israel: The Initial Program of July, 1995" - presented as part of the Vernon Larson 
                  International lecture series - KSU - September 11, 1995.

          1996 "Mirroring Judaism in Israeli Theatre: Visions of the Judaic Past in the Plays of S. Anski, 
                  Joshua Sobol, and Danny Horowitz:" - presented at the Institute for Islamic-Judaic Studies - 
                  University of Denver.

 03     Teaching

          Articles, Student Evaluations
          Retirement Celebration

 04     Workshops Led

          Plays Directed: Articles & Reviews

        Plays Written: Selected

 05       The Eternal Kick, 1963
          My Old Room, 1964
          The Planter May Weep, 1966

 06       A Thousand at the Branches, 1967

 07       Some Events Connected with the Early History of Arizona, 1968

 08       We Can Make Our Lives Sublime, 1969
          Earp!, 1971

 09       Monks, 1971

 10       PUBA, 1972
          The Betrayal, 1974
          The Kansas Character, 1977

 11       A Jew in Kansas, 1977
          Next Thing to Kinfolks, 1978
          On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi!, 1978

 12       The Buck Stops Here!, 1982

 13       Abraham! Abraham!, 1986

 14       No Other Gods, 1987
          Never Catch You At It, 1988

 15       A Light to the Nations, 1989
          Custody, 1993

 16       Inbar, 1995
          Out of the Depths, 1998

        Video Tapes
 01       Graduate School Commencement Address, May 14, 1999
          Drama Therapy Interview on TV Show, "What's the Big Idea?" Spring 1999
          Interview about Teaching, September 24, 1998

 02       Retirement Celebration, April 2, 1999

 03       Discussion and Demonstration of Theatre for Special Populations: The Exceptional Theatre Company

        Audio Tapes


 01          Monks, 1971
 02          The Buck Stops Here!, 1982
 03          Abraham! Abraham!, 1996

          Documentary Radio Drama-KSAC-1976

 04          The Matter with Kansas

          Humanities Lecture Reading, November 17, 1994

 05          To Repair the World: Confessions of an American Jewish Playwright

Addition to the Collection
Container List

"Never Let 'em Catch You At It": An Evening with Milburn Stone An Original Play and One Man Show by Norman J. Fedder Saint Mary of the Plains College, July 1-August 13, 1989 and Hutchinson Community College, April 21-22, 1995.

Box   Folder  

               Hutchinson Commuity College production
 01   01         Advertising flyer for play
      02         "Biography" and "Playwright's Notes" 
      03         Correspondence, 1989
      04         Stage floor plan

            Research Materials

      05       Correspondence, 1973-1974, 1979
      06       Newspaper clippings & periodical articles re Stone, 1961-1980
      07       Newspaper clippings and news releases re "Gunsmoke," ca 1962-1977
      08       Obituaries of Stone
      09       Newspaper clippings re play
      10       Book, Dodge City Landmarks and flyer "Old Dodge City"
      11       Oral history interview transcriptions and "autobiography" of Stone (approx. 1,000 pages)
            Audio Cassette Tapes

 01            Complete Milburn Stone interview, May 23, 1980
 02            Milburn Stone biographical tape no. 1
 03              Biographical tape no. 8
 04              Biographical tape no. 11
 05              Biographical tape no. 12; "Mil(burn) meets Janie" & "Gunsmoke Begins"
 06            Hap Hogan-Tent show memories
 07            Milburn Stone/Charlton Heston

            Video Cassette Tapes

  01           "Never Let 'em Catch You At It" Final dress rehearsal for 1995 Hutchinson Community College with 
                 William Brewer portraying Stone.
  02           Gunsmoke: Baker's Dozen